FIFA Senior Vice-President Julio Grondona, key right-hand man to Sepp
Blatter, won a record ninth four-year term as Argentine Football
Association (AFA) chief on Tuesday which will keep him in office
The 80-year-old, who had a run-in with British media over
England's failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup finals, was
elected unanimously at an extraordinary AFA congress attended by
46 club directors at AFA headquarters.
A small group of protesters gathered outside the AFA's
downtown Buenos Aires offices to demonstrate against a man they
see as a dictator who has long outstayed his welcome.
"In 32 years here we have done our job and I hope that in
the future nothing changes," said Grondona, who famously wears a
ring with the words "Everything changes" engraved on it.
"I'm happy to have the good fortune to keep working with the
support of all of you," local media quoted him as saying at the
Grondona, or "Don Julio" as he is popularly known, began his
career as a football director in 1956 when he founded Arsenal,
now a top flight club, which he presided over in the lower
divisions until 1975.
Between 1976 and 1979, Grondona was president of leading
club Independiente, the team he supports as a fan and his
stepping stone to the top job in Argentine football.
He was elected to the AFA chair in 1979, a year after
Argentina won the World Cup for the first time.
He went on to preside over their second world crown in 1986,
the Copa America victories of 1991 and 1993, their last major
title, and the country's first Olympic football gold medals at the
Athens Games in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
Grondona called the English "liars" and "pirates" at the
FIFA Congress in Zurich in June. Football Association Chairman
David Bernstein said earlier this month the Argentine had sent
him an apology, retracting his remarks.
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